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Will the Real William Shakespeare Please Stand Up

Updated on October 27, 2011
Edward de Vere
Edward de Vere | Source
William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare | Source

by Christine B. - From my February 2010 Paranormal Musings Newsletter


Many people believe William Shakespeare is not the true author of the famous plays and poems for whom the world has given him credit. Remember what I have said about history being relative? This is a prime example of where history made up it's own story and it is not necessarily what actually occurred.

Sir Francis Bacon, Christopher Marlowe, William Stanley (Earl of Derby), Edward de Vere (Earl of Oxford) and even Queen Elizabeth I have all been suspected of being the true author of the plays and poems known today as the works of William Shakespeare. However, most historians believe the true author was Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford. The one thing just about every historian knows for sure is that it wasn't William Shakespeare, although not many have been willing to rock the historical boat and prove it unequivocally.

What is known about Edward de Vere:
Ø He was an Elizabethan courtier, playwright, poet, sportsman, patron of numerous writers, and sponsor of at least two acting companies, Oxford's Men and Oxford's Boys, and a company of musicians.

Ø He was born at Castle Hedingham to the 16th Earl of Oxford and the former Margery Golding.

Ø He was quite literate and attended Queens' College, Cambridge and was awarded a BA by the University of Cambridge in 1564.

Ø He had vast experience in the royal courts and with other languages.


What is known about William Shakespeare:
Ø A Willelmum Shaxpere was licensed to marry Ann Whately of Temple Grafton in November 1582.

Ø In that same month “William Shagspere” married Anne Hathway of Stratford.

Ø His father was illiterate, as were his daughters, and it has been reported that he was barely able to write his own name more than a few times throughout his life.

Ø Only six purported signatures of his have been found, the oldest is dated only four years before his death!

Ø Other than his birth, marriage, death and his children, nothing much else is known of the man that can be documented—and no records of education exists.


Between the years of 1593 and 1597 texts of Henry VI (Parts 1 & 2), Richard II, Titus Andronicus, Romeo and Juliet and Richard II were published in London with NO indication of their authorship. Between 1608 and 1609 eighteen more of his plays were published, all with flawed tests. 154 of Shakespeare’s sonnets were published in 1609. The introduction by the printer dedicated the author’s works to someone who he indicated was no longer living! In 1623 (seven years after William Shakespeare died) John Heminge and Henry Condell, both retired actors, published 36 plays under the title of William Shakespeare’s Comedies, Histories & Tragedies.

In 1920, J. Thomas Looney wrote a book that offered the hypothesis that Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, was the actual author of Shakespeare's plays. He and others came to this conculsion because of Oxford's advanced education including foreign languages, background in the theatre, the praise accorded Oxford's plays and poems, his knowledge of aristocratic life, history, the military, and the law; and the numerous similarities between Oxford's life and the plots of the plays themselves. According to Looney, Oxford had no choice but to publish under a pseudonym, since it would have been considered disgraceful for an aristocrat to write openly for the public theatre.

In 1952 Dorothy and Charlton Ogburn also did extensive research on the subject. After years of intense examination of all that is known about both gentlemen, they came to this conclusion: “The evidence mounted for the Earl of Oxford as the true author of Shakespeare’s plays and poems can no longer be ignored by reputable scholars.”

Justice Harry A. Blackman of the U. S. Supreme Court agrees. “If I had to rule on the evidence presented, it would be in favor of the Oxfordians."

So, what’s the difference who wrote all those poems and plays? Both men are long dead anyway, right? History… that’s the difference. Every time someone changes history, it changes all our lives. It’s just one more belief we have had our entire lives that is just not true. What next? There really is no Santa Claus? Or, there’s no such thing as the man who wrote the greatest poetry and plays in the history of the world—a man’s whose name has been used on theaters, acting toupes, festivals, and a merriod of other ospecous events and buildings throughout the world? Will they change the name of the famous playhouse to the Oxford Globe Theater? I don’t think so. I guess we’ll all have to go on with our illusions of who is really the most famous author of all time—all I know for sure is, it’s not me!


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